Bill Selden HeadshotName:
Bill Selden, President of C.P. Dean Company

How long has C.P. Dean been in business:
133 years

How long have you owned the business:
47 years

How did you come up with the name for your business?
I’m a third-generation owner, the business started in 1886.

What did you want to be as a child?
A boat charter captain.

What’s the best piece of business advice you received when starting out?
Be honest with customers and employees even if it hurts. And sometimes it does.

When did you first realize that your business was going to succeed?
When new generations of kids come in my showroom and find it fun and don’t want to leave.

What’s the first thing you do every morning to set the tone for your day?
Hug my dog.

As a leader, when did you receive a piece of tough criticism that was tough to overcome?
In 2009 when my bank lost faith we could survive the depression and called our loans.

What does the world need more of?
Consideration and understanding of others.

What characteristic do you most admire in other business owners?
The trait of never being satisfied. Always searching for a way to be better.

Which of your personal traits makes you proudest?
I truly care about people, especially my friends.

Knowing what you know now, what would you have done differently when you first started out?
I knew the products well, I wish I had learned more about the business side of cash flow, accounting, etc.

What’s the best thing about being a local business owner?
Your business is your child, you watch it grow and prosper.

In 2010, Bill Selden was named RMA’s Distinguished Retailer of the Year. He is also a former board member. To learn more about C.P. Dean and their 133 year history as a local Richmond business, visit their website.